Hmm...so judging the baconfest: fun, kind of chaotic, bacon-y. I'm naturally very judgmental (I try to chill on it) so maybe judging things is my true calling? I shoulda been a judge. I think the rules of submission were not that clear to people so some people who just submitted bacon they had cured (e.g. Jaymes from Fat Face) got a little bit screwed. You see, other people submitted dishes they had made with the bacon they cured, so that gave them an advantage over just a slice o' bacon. Jaymes also submitted mini versions of her bacon and egg popsicle (it is very good and custardy, not gross like you might be thinking) which probably would have won if there was a bacon dessert category, which there probably should have been.
The judges couldn't come to a consensus so we had to give numerical scores and tally them. My favorite dish was Mulvaney's "tongue in cheek" which was bacon-wrapped tongue with a tomatillo salsa. The bacon was very succulent and the flavors melded coherently into a whole, delicious bite. The guy who won works for the Grange and he submitted a whole platter of dishes. Some of the dishes were so-so (undercooked beans) but he won on the strength of a bacon cheddar biscuit sandwich loaded up with bacon jam, Canadian bacon, regular bacon, and an herbed slaw. It was a dish I would definitely revisit at a restaurant. It was fun chatting with Chris Macias as we judged, and I did indeed call for a palate-cleanser of bourbon on the rocks, which tasted fucking great with all that smoky bacon. CM, if you're reading, what was the name of that type of pig?
Some pictures, including the Verge party, after the jump